Make sock puppets to support creativity, language development, communication and social skills, and fine-motor coordination. Whānau can role play experiences with tamariki, exploring feelings like compassion, empathy, frustration and care.

Why do it?

Making and playing with puppets gives tamariki an opportunity to:

  • use their imagination to create characters and tell or retell stories about them
  • strengthen fine motor skills through cutting, drawing, sticking or gluing
  • develop language skills through pretend play
  • work and play with others
  • engage in a fun activity using everyday items
  • give single socks a new life!

How to do it

You'll need:

  • some adult-sized socks
  • felt tips or stickers
  • wool for hair
  • needle and thread
  • buttons for eyes
  • scraps of material for clothing.

Make the puppets:

  • Use felt tips to draw eyes, a nose and a mouth on light coloured socks. Stitch them on if socks are dark.
  • Wool can be glued or stitched on for hair and/or whiskers.
  • Scraps of fabric can be wrapped around as scarves, cloaks and skirts for the puppets.

Play ideas:

  • Use your sock like a glove, putting your thumb in the heel and fingers in the toe.
  • Give your sock puppet a name.
  • Use the puppets to act out family activities (shopping, visiting and going to the park) and/or stories you have shared.
  • Have your puppets sing a song!
  • Use your puppets to chat about your favourite things.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
To sew
To sing/song
I mahia e ia hē kāretao mai te tōkena She made a puppet from a sock
Ko wai tēnei? Who's this?
Ko Mita tēnei This is Mita
Ko wai te ingoa o tō keretao? What's your puppet's name?
Kei hea tana kāinga? Where does she live?
Kei te haere ia ki whea? Where is she going?
Kei te haere ia ki te toa hokomaha He's going to the supermarket